Presently, the risk of being infected or infested by pathogenic organisms through food and water is ever-increasing. This is due to a variety of reasons including immigration, frequent overseas travel, importation of vegetables and fruits, lack of a public health policy to screen food handlers for transmissible pathogens, outdoor and wilderness excursions, agricultural pollution, and pets at home.

Currently, World Health Organization studies indicate that about a half a billion individuals are infected annually by Entamoeba histolytica and a similar number are infected by Giardia and Cryptosporidium. Considering all parasites, more than one-quarter of the earth’s population is infected at any one time. More serious efforts must be made to prevent, identify, and treat these widespread and debilitating infections.


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GI Health Panel: Patient Overview

Gastrointestinal Health Panels

The GI Health Panels are non-invasive screening tests of the gastrointestinal tract and its function. They include 15-22 individual, yet related tests. Stool and saliva samples are submitted after convenient at-home collection.

To ensure high sensitivity and specificity of pathogenic organism detection, Diagnos-Techs employs state-of-the-art equipment and testing methods, capable of identifying over 4,000 specific microorganisms – 100 times more than standard laboratories are able to identify. This equipment is found primarily in advanced reference laboratories and provides extremely rapid and accurate results.

These panels include:

  • Pathogen screening for bacteria, yeast, and various parasites.
  • Digestion-related screens for enzyme levels and immunochemical markers for sensitivity to common offending foods.
  • Intestinal function markers to evaluate irritation and inflammation; markers indicate overall status of gut immunity and integrity, such as occult blood.

The Diagnos-Techs GI Health Panels strike a balance between comprehensive screening and economy by bundling appropriate individual tests that would otherwise cost over $700 at current prices. All the tests are insurer reimbursable with the appropriate coverage and documentation by your healthcare provider.

Advantages and Benefits

  • Non-invasive sampling using saliva and stool
  • Home collection
  • Economical and potentially reimbursable
  • Comprehensive—detects a broad spectrum of common pathogens and includes digestion efficiency evaluation
  • Improved wellness—general GI complaints can be identified and resolved
  • Modular—retesting of one or several abnormal findings is available without repeating the entire panel

The GI Health Panels may be helpful for determining the underlying cause of:

  • Chronic or vague abdominal pain or discomfort
  • Gas or bloating
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea or loose stools
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Heartburn or GERD

Gastrointestinal Health

Maintaining a healthy GI system is essential to your overall health. GI infections and inflammation can lead to a wide range of symptoms and decrease the body's ability to absorb nutrients. Commonly thought to be found only in developing countries, parasites and pathogenic bacteria are a cause of GI symptoms in millions of people in the United States as well.

Mode of Transmission and Risk Factors

The predominant method of transmission of parasites is the fecal–oral route. This can occur through hand contact with infected individuals or via contaminated water, soil, or food. Many parasites are highly transmissible within a household environment. All family members should be tested if one member is positive for GI infection.

People with suppressed immunity are at risk for longer and more serious GI infections. Individuals receiving chemotherapy for cancer are very susceptible to parasitic infections. Medications commonly used for autoimmune conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, can also lead to a higher risk of infections. Frequent or excessive antibiotic use can render the GI tract more susceptible to chronic overgrowth of harmful microorganisms.

You may benefit from a GI Health Panel if you:

  • Frequently travel within the United States or overseas
  • Frequently eat outside the home
  • Are exposed to feces (e.g., cat litter box)
  • Prepare or handle food
  • Work in a hospital or other healthcare setting
  • Go hiking or camping
  • Live in a dormitory
  • Work with young children or have a child who attends daycare
  • Have a history of frequent or broad-spectrum antibiotic use